Do you know what a greenhouse is? A greenhouse is used to grow plants.
A greenhouse keeps the temperature inside warm so that plants can grow.
In a greenhouse, heat can get in, but does not escape. This is great for growing plants like tomatoes.
But this is not great when the whole Earth is the greenhouse! This is called the greenhouse effect.
Have you heard about global warming? Have you heard about climate change? Have you heard about the greenhouse effect? These words are all about the same thing.
All around the world, scientists know that the Earth is getting warmer.
Normally, the Earth keeps some of the sun's heat, and releases some of it back out.
Why is this happening? Look at this picture. Heat from the sun comes to the Earth. We need heat from the sun in order to survive.
But look at the picture. Do you see the grey zone around the Earth?
That is why we call it the greenhouse effect.
This zone is what causes the greenhouse effect. Because of this zone, heat cannot escape. Instead, it just bounces back into Earth. It makes the Earth warmer and warmer. It keeps the Earth's heat from escaping, just like a greenhouse.
But just what is that grey zone made of? The greenhouse effect happens because of greenhouse gases. These are gases like carbon dioxide and methane. Humans create these gases on Earth.
We create greenhouse gases when we take airplanes.
We create greenhouse gases when we use energy.
We create greenhouse gases when we have huge farms full of cattle.
There are many sources of greenhouse gases. But they all come from things that humans do.
The greenhouse gases sit around the Earth's atmosphere and create a barrier. The barrier keeps in heat. It is changing the climate and environment all around the world.
It is making everything warmer. That is why we call it global warming, or climate change. Because of global warming, polar ice caps are melting.
Animals that live in polar regions are in big trouble because the ice that is their home is vanishing.
Because of global warming, weather patterns are becoming more extreme. Countries around the world are in big trouble because of dangerous storms and natural disasters.
Because of global warming, sea waters are changing. Sea animals and ecosystems are in big trouble because the waters around them are getting warmer very quickly.
Global warming is causing many animals and plants to die. We rely on these plants and animals in order to live.
Without these plants and animals, we would have no food to eat or land to live on. We need to be responsible and stop global warming.
We need to be careful about creating more greenhouse gases. If we all do our part, we can make things better. Global warming is a problem that affects everyone in the world.